Tonight, we’re leaving for Bonnaroo! I’ve done the usual; listen to all the artists, create my schedule, figure out how to pack a tent and a sleeping bag to take on a plane… I don’t know what was more difficult, narrowing down the number of books I want to bring or narrowing down the number of bands to put on my top 5 “must see” acts of Bonnaroo ’11 list. But both tasks needed to be done. There are so many acts that I’m excited to see, but here are my top:
- Deas Vail http://www.deasvail.com/
This band captured my attention at Warped Tour and I’ve been craving another helping of this Arkansas-based group ever since. Their uplifting melodies and calming vocals always manage to lift the spirit. Deas Vail is the kind of band that can take you to another, much better place. And that’s what Bonnaroo is all about (for me at least). It’s the physical representation of that mental place I go every time I see my favorite bands perform. And there is absolutely nothing better than seeing one of my favorite bands in this place…and that’s why Deas Vail is the group I’m most looking forward to seeing this year.
Where to see them: Friday 2:30 at Cafe Where
2. Eminem http://www.eminem.com/
One of my favorite things about Bonnaroo (and music festivals in general) is being able to see so many big acts that I would never pay to see individually (I go to way too many shows to pay big bucks for any one artist). There are quite a few big names I’m looking forward to this year, but none more than Eminem. I was never a huge fan of Eminem, but then I saw him perform at another festival (Epicenter). This man has a gift. I’ve been hesitant of big name rappers at Bonnaroo ever since that whole Kanye debacle of ’08, but I know Eminem will be more embracing of the Bonnaroo spirit and put on a show worthy of the event. Now that I’ve had a taste of this live performance, I cannot wait to get more!
Where to see him: Saturday 11pm at the What Stage
I’ve been keeping tabs on the whole Rolling Stone unsigned artist cover competition. Although my faves, Chicago rockers Empire, are sadly no longer in the running, there are still two fantastic acts left. I’ve been going to Lelia Broussard shows for years now and have always enjoyed her songs and charming delivery. The Sheepdogs were introduced to me through this competition, but I pegged them early as one to watch (I have a weakness for southern rock). I’m excited to see them both perform and bring about a conclusion to this competition.
Where to see them: Saturday 2pm at This Tent
4. Mumford and Sons http://www.mumfordandsons.com/
As amazing as their album, Sigh No More, can be, the live Mumford and Sons performance is even better! As these English folk rockers continue to grow in popularity around the world, their performances become increasingly coveted. I don’t know if I could ever beat the front row at The Belly Up, but Mumford and Sons + Bonnaroo is an ideal combination and I am really looking forward to seeing them again.
Where to see them: Saturday 6:15 at Which Stage
5. Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons http://www.corychisel.com/
What would be the point of a big music festival, if I didn’t walk away discovering a great new band. I mean Bonnaroo is the event in where I first heard one of my LA faves, Carney. Listening to all the acts unbeknownst to me, I heard a lot of promise in Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons. Will they live up to my expectations? Will another unknown act steal my heart? I guess we’ll all have to wait and see.
Where to see them:
Thursday 7:15 at The Solar Stage
Friday 9:20 at The On Tap Lounge
Other Highly Anticipated Acts for Bonnaroo ‘11
- Band of Skulls http://www.bandofskulls.com/
- Freelance Whales http://freelancewhales.com/
- The Decemberists http://decemberists.com/
- Portugal, The Man http://www.portugaltheman.com/
- Alberta Cross http://www.albertacross.net/
- Cold War Kids http://www.coldwarkids.com/site/mineisyours
- So, so many many more…
Hope to see you at the ‘Roo!